Blazers’ 58.7 FG percentage season high (old high 55.3% vs. Milwaukee Dec. 9) . . . 37 point-first quarter season high . . . 37 points also matches highest for any quarter this season . . . 64-point first half ties Blazers season-high for any half this season . . . All five Portland starters in double digits for second time in three games . . . 31 assists one shy of season high . . . Blazers split their four-game series with the Mavs for the first time since the 2002-03 season . . . Two victories over Dallas this season ended a 14-game losing streak that stretched back to December, 2003.
• Nate McMillan
“Tonight I loved the offense and I loved the crowd. It makes a big difference when you get that kind of fan support. These guys are playing off the crowd.
“The whole starting team played so well---31 assists for 41 field goals, that’s a great ratio. I thought the first quarter was one of the best we’ve had this year, triggered somewhat by our defense. I wanted to get Jack on the floor with Roy and Blake to give us three guards. By doing that I thought we could speed up the game some and not have the lulls we had last night at Sacramento.
“Getting 40 wins is big. I haven’t seen 40 since I’ve been here, and the fact that we bounced back from last night (Portland is 12-8 in the second of back-to-back games). I thought we should just send a message that we’re going to be a competitive team next year---maybe looking at 50 wins rather than 40. Its something to look forward to. For this season its good to get there because you need to be in the 40s or better to have any chance at the playoffs. I’m excited about this team. Its been a good year for us---to improve the way we have.
“Our resilience has been a trademark of this team. It’s never down too long. Tonight we had such good ball movement and execution with just nine turnovers. I don’t think this team will have any problems motivating themselves for Tuesday night’s last home game against Memphis. We still have a shot at a winning season.”
• Jarrett Jack
“Those clutch moments when need somebody to get to the line and get some free throws (talking about hitting the two clutch free throws with 19.6 seconds left), I pride myself in coming through for my teammates. That’s what I was able to do. If we get the ball out tonight (talking about playing ‘small ball’) we wanted to run and that’s what happened. We’re not giving up. We know how we end the season can definitely carry over to the next season. Hopefully the way we finish we can open up the next year on a good note as well.”
• Brandon Roy
“I didn’t do good last night. I told the guys that if we win, great. But at least we have to go out and play hard. When we play this kind of basketball, we’re a tough team to beat---like we did against LA. Everyone stepped up tonight; when everyone comes to play, we’re tough to beat.”
• Avery Johnson
“We weren’t in a good state of mind early in the game. They made every single shot. I wanted to say guys weren’t contesting shots, but the one’s we were contesting they were still making. We couldn’t get stops when we couldn’t get stops. They were on fire tonight. Early, I thought we had some breakdowns and made some mistakes and they made us pay. But even when we played good defense they still made us pay.
They were fired up and ready to go. It was a tail of two halves. We came out and got our defense set and were pretty solid defensively. They still made some shots. But to give up that many points in the first half, that’s not our defense. We don’t want to go into the playoffs starting the first quarter like we did tonight. We won’t be able to beat anybody.
The men are aware of it and they’ll come back out tomorrow night and hopefully come out to a better start. We’re not going to drop our heads over this loss. They played a terrific game and were ready to go. They’ve been pretty decent at home and I think we thought we were going to play the team who lost last night.”
• Jason Terry
“Give them credit, they hit a lot of shots. They shot almost 60 percent on us. That’s not how we play, that’s not our best defensive game at all. (On three–point look at end of game) “It was a good luck, but just short. AT the same time, we fought back, we got off to a horrible start. You get down 13 or 15 to this team and they’re confidence gets high and they start to hit shots and they continue to hit them all night long. We dug ourselves a hole, but we’ll bounce back tomorrow night.”
(On seed in playoffs)
“It doesn’t matter once you’re in. we just want to be playing well going in, it didn’t happen tonight but we’ll bounce back tomorrow.”
• Jason Kidd
“We can’t let a team shoot 67 percent in the first half and you’re not going to beat anybody. We gave ourselves a chance to win, with two minutes left we tied the game up and it’s anybody’s ball game and they make shots and we couldn’t stop them.”